Dioctria's picture

Lichen Mosaic

Observed: 27th June 2011 By: DioctriaDioctria’s reputation in Fungi and LichensDioctria’s reputation in Fungi and LichensDioctria’s reputation in Fungi and Lichens

Lichen mosaic on the underside of a willow branch. (View full size to see the detail.)
I'm having a shot at the ID of the grey, foliose lichen in the centre but would appreciate thoughts on any of the others shown! :-)
Jenny has already identified the one with black apothecia for me as Lecidella elaeochroma and confirmed that many of the pale brown apothecia are likely to be Lecanora species.
I'd be interested if anyone has any thoughts on the darker brown apothecia near the tiny piece of Xanthoria parietina at the top, or at middle right.
Thanks for looking.


Caution: Do NOT use iSpot to identify fungi to eat!

Some fungi are very poisonous so a mistaken ID could have serious consequences.

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Physcia tenella subsp. tenella interacts


gardener's picture

Japewiella tavaresiana?

Not sure about the black aps but RH side between middle and bottom there is a small patch of greyish-white thallus with about 12 rounded, reddish apothecia without margins.

As your photograph shows lichen on a willow these might be Japewiella tavaresiana:

Dioctria's picture


So are the black aps possibly a different species to the ones in my previous observation?

I was amazed at the number of apparently different species showing in this image from an unexceptional site in what I'd always understood was a rather depauperate county as far as lichens are concerned. (Downwind of the industrial revolution! :-) )


AlanS's picture

Sorry to disagree with Jenny

Japewiella tavaresiana would be very unlikely in this clearly nitrophile community (and is also geographically very unlikely - in mainland Britain it is extremely western, confined to the clean, humid air of the Atlantic fringe.)

However, this should not discourage anyone from looking at Jenny's page on J. tavaresiana which is stunning! (So good that I am not sure I dare post my own rubbish photographs of J. tavaresiana on my own site!)

The cluster of brown apothecia at the extreme right of the photograph are set on a small, grey thallus (again this is wrong for Japewiella) and are evidently a Lecania. Almost certainly it is Lecania cyrtella, a common member of this same nitrophile community, though there are a couple of other Lecania species that can look similar and are best distinguished by their spores (see Lecania on my website).

The black apothecia look correct for Lecidella elaeochroma, but ideally should be checked with sodium hypochlorite (bleach) - convincing orange reaction - as there are a few look-alikes.

The Lecanora is almost certainly L. chlarotera. Again there are some look-alikes that require microscopic examination, but it looks just right, and very commonly grows with Lecidella elaeochroma.

As this is a very good, high resolution photograph, it is possible to look for other things. Between the Xanthoria and the large Physcia are a few scattered disks of another small Lecanora of the dispersa group, quite possibly L. hagenii, and another small Lecania colony which would need microscopic checking but is likely to be the much under-recorded L. cyrtellina (but could just be young L. cyrtella).


Dioctria's picture


Many thanks for your thorough response Alan, I appreciate your taking so much time over it.

I'm just starting to have another crack at photographing and identifying lichens after unsuccessful attempts many years ago in the days of film and no iSpot. The fact that yourself and Jenny can give plenty of definite and probable IDs from modern digital images is very encouraging. (Though I do appreciate the need for a chemical kit to go further...)

I photographed another Lecanora in the same field that I thought might be L. chlarotera but it was in a much more exposed spot and had a wide margin of thallus without apothecia, so I'll post that one later to see what people think.

Jenny's J. tavaresiana page is indeed excellent, as his her whole site, not to mention your own. (I'll be posting a few more images from the handful of lichens I have photographed over the last few years, so will be using both to have a go at some IDs.)


gardener's picture

Thanks for the correction

Thanks for the correction Alan, I get so used to the lichens here in SW Ireland that I forget many of them are far less frequent in the UK.

Very embarrassingly I have not yet figured out Lecania cyrtella - I need someone to introduce me to some of the more common species!